I’m Still Here

Hi everyone.  Sorry I have been missing the last month or so.  I have had some health issues; nothing very serious, just seemingly non-ending.

Needless to say, I have been focusing the minimum energy that I have on my 3 little rugrats, who, let’s face it, don’t help with my exhaustion but do help with motivating me to keep on trucking.

We’re still having fun when we can and loving life as it comes along and I hope to be back to regular posts very soon!  For now, I will leave you with a view of why I still choose to embrace the insanity of motherhood. 🙂

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these little hoodlums drive me crazy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way….unless it involved more naps….

Fun Friday – Field Trips!

I have been on two field trips in the last week; one with Big Brother to a local nursery because he has been learning about plants, and one with The Princess to our local natural habitat zoo because she has been learning about animals.

I tried to snap a few pictures of the kids and their friends learning in the fun settings, but I also let them take charge of the camera at times so that they could practice their photography skills.  They were both very proud of their photos so I thought I would share some. 🙂

First, Tallahassee Nurseries with 3rd graders:

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the beautiful gazebo with wind chimes

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getting beans to plant

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a banana plant in full bloom

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someone found a cicada skeleton

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the dragon in the pond

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pollinating bees

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gigantic sword beans (they were over a foot long)

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class portrait

And now, the Tallahassee Museum with 1st graders:

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black bear going for a swim

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Florida panther hanging out in a tree

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deer

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wild turkeys

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vultures – yuck

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bald eagle

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finally brave enough to touch a snake

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watching turtles “running” over to eat

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“scientists”

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that’s my girl in the front row with a disgusted look on her face…she was not that excited about being so close to a baby alligator

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here’s a shot of my girl (in pig tails) waiting for the hand sanitizer…she touched the alligator so quickly, the camera missed it.

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class shot

Happy Birthday Old Man

Today my oldest turned 8.  It hardly seems like it has been that long, but here we are.   He changed my world when he entered my life and there has never been a dull moment since.  Happy Birthday, Kiddo.  Thanks for letting me be your Mom.  I love you.

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the bib says it all

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self-portrait taken last week

Wordless Wednesday – Twin Day

It's homecoming week at school so for twin day, the kids dressed up as Jaguar fans since my hometown is Jacksonville and they both had the outfits already.  Hopefully this will bring some luck to the team because this season has been quite disappointing thus far.  (Please forgive the quality because I had to take the picture with my crappy phone due to dead camera battery.)

It’s homecoming week at school so for twin day, the kids dressed up as Jaguar fans since my hometown is Jacksonville and they both had the outfits already. Hopefully this will bring some luck to the team because this season has been quite disappointing thus far. (Please forgive the quality because I had to take the picture with my crappy phone due to dead camera battery – Big Brother’s shirt is actually black, sigh.)

Ten Thoughts Tuesday

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Since I am obviously not able to keep up with my blogging these days, here’s a few of the thoughts going through my head this week:

1.  It’s Tuesday – that’s not nearly close enough to Friday.

2. Big Brother will be having his 8th birthday party on Saturday and I am praying that it goes well and he has a great time with his friends.

3. The first school project of the year has been assigned and it is a diorama of an animal’s habitat for Science class.  Big Brother chose the camel as his animal.  Do you have any idea how boring the landscape is for a Middle Eastern desert?! Beige, beige, and more beige.

4. Tomorrow I get to help chaperone the first field trip of the year.  It is at a nursery (the plant kind, not the baby kind) so it could be interesting, assuming the love bugs stay away.

5. Speaking of love bugs, I am so OVER Florida love bug season.  I don’t mind the occasional mating bugs flying around, but they have been EVERYWHERE lately and in droves!  The Princess is not a fan and is overly dramatic (shocking, right?).  Her screams regarding love bugs are enough to push me over the edge.

6. Big Trouble is obsessed with PRETENDING to go potty (not sure if this is better or worse than him saying he is scared to go).  He will literally sit/stand on/by the toilet for half an hour until I finally make him leave the bathroom and then he will promptly pee in the new clean diaper (or on the floor) the minute we exit the proper area.  Same old, same old.

7.  I helped a young mom out in Target this week when she spilled her coffee all over her cart only to have her 3 year old yell out “Mom, you made a mess!”.  I have totally been that mom on numerous occasions and this happened during one of the few times I have ever been to Target sans ANY of my kids so I helped her transfer her goodies into my empty cart before they got ruined and I found someone who had a wet floor sign because she didn’t want to just leave the mess on the floor.  She smiled that grateful (and tired) smile of a Mom who knows when someone isn’t judging, only sympathizing from experience.   You don’t find that much anymore (believe me, I have learned this with Big Trouble) so it made me feel good to offer any assistance that I could.

8. I took Big Trouble grocery shopping this morning after I dropped the big kids off at school.  He was incredibly well behaved, mostly because he kept taking everything out of the basket part of the cart and trying to stack it up in the seat next to him; and he said good morning to nearly everyone we saw.  Surprisingly, he didn’t break anything and we only had a tiny milk leak when he roughly tossed the milk up onto the conveyor belt.  I couldn’t believe he was strong enough to lift the milk!  I wish he could always be so helpful and happy.

9. Big Trouble’s preschool has a “cooking” center where the kids get to help make their snack once a week.  The first week, he kept coming home and talking about “the butters”.  I knew there had to be more to the snack than the butters but he couldn’t quite explain it.  I finally remembered to ask his teacher and she said they had made toast and used cookie cutters to cut shapes out of it and then put butter on it.  That made much more sense, but I love that he keeps saying butterS.  Kind of cute.  Clearly, he is having a blast at school and not missing me at all.

10.  I signed up to volunteer in the Princess’ class on Monday mornings to help the teacher with the homework folders.  It doesn’t take long and I am happy to do it.  It kind of makes me sad though because you can tell which kids have helpful parents and which are really struggling.  That has to be tough for the teacher too.

Embarrassing Kid Moment #247,023

child commentsThe following event occurred yesterday morning whilst I was in the store grabbing a pack of diapers for Big Trouble (who is obviously still determined to break me in the potty training department since we were getting yet another pack of diapers, not underwear).

The Setting:

Big Trouble was being quite the little gentleman and this trip to the store had me beaming at the people passing by as I showed off how well my little boy was behaving.  Yep; pat on the back for being an awesome mom;  isn’t he just the cutest little thing?!  I made him.

The Incident:

Then he opened his mouth and SHOUTED a question that no one ever wants to be asked loudly in public:  “MOM, DO YOU NEED TO POOP IN THE POTTY?”

Shh!  No honey, Mommy’s just fine right now, thank you.

He wasn’t satisfied so there was a follow-up question:  “NEED TO PEE-PEE?”  (people are now staring and snickering)

No baby, Mommy already went to the potty.  Do you need to go?

“NO!  DID YOU TOOT?”

Good Lord, NO!  There are no bodily functions going on right now so please stop shouting!

“I GET DIAPERS.  I STINKY GROSSY! MOMMY STINKY GROSSY! HA HA!”

Oh my Lord, please just come with me to the self-checkout so I don’t have to face a real cashier!…..

End of Scene.

Needless to say, I was quite embarrassed by this happy outburst.  I assume it was payback for my constant barrage of questions concerning his potty training process and lack of progress, but who can say?

I know I can’t be the only one with crazy kids who say things like this, right?!

Turns out, I’m not.  So, here’s a few more fun things that other kids have said!  I would love to hear your stories, too!  Misery loves company! 🙂

Fun Friday: Personality Doppelgangers

DopplegangerDefinition2_FixedI saw the idea of a personality doppelganger on another blog and I thought it was a cute idea (please forgive me for not knowing the exact name of the blog because I found it by accident and when I tried to get the link, I couldn’t find it again for the life of me!).  The basic concept is to think of a celebrity (or well-known character) whose personality reminds you of your kid(s).  I like the idea of comparing personalities vs. looks because I believe that personality is so much more telling of who a person is!

So, here’s what I came up with for how my precious little ones have developed so far. 🙂

First up: Big Brother.  DSCN3450I have been told several times that because he has a very sophisticated vocabulary for his age and loves learning, he reminds people of Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory.  Now, he’s no Einstein, but I totally get the comparison, especially since he loves to point out when I am being sarcastic (though I’d like to think my boy’s social skills are on a much higher level than Sheldon’s).

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Next, The Princess.  DSCN3545Now, you might think that I would compare her to a princess since that’s how I refer to her, but my sweet girl reminds me WAY too much of my little sister (which is scary) who was actually named after the Chipette “Brittany” from the original Alvin and the Chipmunks.  She’s definitely sassy and not one to back down easily.brittchip

And, finally, we have Big Trouble.  DSCN2998My original thought was to post a picture of the Tasmanian Devil from Looney Toons because he is just a mess; but lately, he has been acting more like the Dog from Up.  I find myself saying “focus” a lot these days because he will be talking about something and then stop suddenly and notice something else exciting…and then something else…and something else, etc.  Every time he does this, I immediately want to shout out “SQUIRREL”.upSo, here you have my approximation of my children’s personality doppelgangers.

Does anyone else ever have these kinds of comparisons with their kids? 🙂

Ten Thoughts Tuesday (AKA: Yes, I’m Still Here)

tenThings have been CAH-RAZY around our house over the last few weeks so I haven’t had the time I usually do to blog.  Hopefully things will start calming down now that we are getting into the rhythm of school again, but until the calm arrives, here’s a few random items affecting my life right now.

  1. Big Trouble is still refusing to use the potty.  Story of my life.  I am convinced he was put here on Earth to test my ingenuity and patience.
  2. We just got a “Best Of” dvd of the Wiggles.  I have never seen Big Trouble sit still longer than while watching this (yes, I count his randomly standing up to dance as sitting still because he will eventually sit back down to watch some more and he’s not trying to escape or get into any shenanigans).  Best purchase EVER.
  3. My older kids are driving me nuts with their picky eating.  Pasta is quickly losing its appeal and there’s only so many times I can give the “Brinner” option.
  4. I am on my 2nd round of antibiotics since school started.  First for strep throat and now for what appears to be a sinus infection.  Good times.
  5. My house is taking a lot longer to clean than I originally anticipated.  This is partly because I have been sick, but also because I am actually going through everything and donating/trashing/organizing the way I said I would.  Who knew that after 8 years of accumulating things that this would take time? Will I ever finish?!
  6. I have to go for a meeting of just the 3rd grade parents tomorrow night at my kids’ school.  Apparently 3rd grade is a very big deal and I need to know about every aspect.  FUN!
  7. My husband agreed to co-chair the “walking school bus” this school year.  Basically the kids just meet up on the first Wednesday of each month, at the main square of the neighborhood that the school is located in, and walk safely to school with a group of parents and teachers.  They get a stamp on their card each time they participate and they can earn prizes for being active.  I get to participate with them on the first walk tomorrow.  I am not that excited seeing as though I have to drag along Big Trouble and I have to walk all the way back to where we started once they reach their classes.  Yes, I am a terrible example of laziness.  But, at least I’ll have help since hubby HAS to be there!
  8. Today Big Brother told me about the Sunshine State Books program.  I haven’t fully learned exactly what is involved, but there are 15 “longer” books that are recommended statewide for 3-5 grade levels and 6-8 grade levels and if you read a few, you get something special at school.  If you read all 15 by the time the school year is over, you are a super star.  So, this is how I am going to get him to stop rushing through the easy books and just take his time and enjoy a longer book.  At least that’s the plan.  Right now he is very excited about going with me to the public library tonight to get his first two books because there is a waiting list at the school library and his brilliant Mommy found a way around it.  Score.
  9. The anniversary of my 29th birthday is next week.  Since my husband and I share a birthday, my mom is coming on Saturday to celebrate just me and she worked out a special trip for my husband to celebrate just him on Sunday.  I think that will be a perfect balance so that we can enjoy sharing our birthday on the actual day, even if it means that I have to acknowledge that I am getting older.  I’m still 29 if anyone asks.
  10. Our tv is in the process of slowly dying.  We got a new one when they were on sale for Labor Day (Happy Birthday to us), but we are having issues getting the old one off of the wall mount.  What a pain.

Needless to say, we’ve got a lot going on right now.  So, please forgive me if my postings are just here and there.  I’m still trying to keep up with everyone at night after the kids go to bed and hopefully I will catch up with myself one day too!

Have a great week!

We’ve Mastered Another Skill…Just Not The One I Was Hoping For

Today, Big Trouble started drinking from a straw.  I’ll hold for applause.

SUCCESS!

SUCCESS!

Now, this may not seem like that big of a deal, but seeing as though he gets soaked every time he tries to drink out of a regular cup, it really is!  The kid can literally take a dime-sized amount of water and make it look like he just survived a flash flood.

But now, thanks to this new development, we can start using the “big kid” cups with lids and straws instead of sippy cups or the “ok, guess we’ll go get a bath now” cups!  I’ll admit that it was torture so fun making weird faces and trying to give him samples of how to sip from a straw, only to have him just make noises and/or accidentally blow spit bubbles and laugh.

Mind you, this has gone on for nearly a year.  The kid has no interest in my time frame for ANYTHING.  I’m just now starting to get that (can’t imagine where he gets his stubbornness from).  But, I keep trying like the idiot that I am because I that’s my job.  And, nothing makes me feel like a bigger success than finally seeing one of my kids master something they have been trying to do; even if it is as insignificant a milestone as drinking from a straw.

The moment I saw my troublemaker give me a huge victory smile, thus drooling out most of the liquid he had just learned to sip up, I held my head high, looked to the sky and thought, “yeah, I taught him that” (not the drooling part, just to clarify; the actual sipping from a straw).  I am a success and so is my boy!

Then I turned back to look at my precious little one who was making me so proud…and I see this:

"Wook at my hat, mom"

“Wook at my hat, mom”

Yep.  That’s the inside of his consistently unused potty seat sitting there, upside down on his head.  I did not teach him that.  Guess we still have a little work left to do on some of our skills….sigh.